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Health department: Large group of children played with rabid bat outside Westminster apartment

Bat_stock photo
Posted at 6:24 AM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 13:10:50-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A large group of children played with an injured bat Tuesday that later tested positive for rabies, according to the Westminster Police Department.

Police said they were notified Thursday that the bat had tested positive after it was euthanized Tuesday and brought to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for testing.

On Tuesday around noon, the police department received a call about approximately 16 children playing with the injured bat outside the Hidden Lake Apartments, located near W. 68th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. When an animal management officer responded, a person had had already taken the bat away from the children.

It tested positive for rabies two days later.

The police department and CDPHE returned to the area to help locate the children for a risk assessment. Flyers were also posted in the area. The CDPHE said even “seemingly insignificant contact” with the bat could have transmitted the virus.

Rabies can be transmitted from wildlife to human through a bite or the animal’s saliva. It affects the nervous system and is fatal if left untreated. Treatment is effective if discovered early.

As of Thursday evening, it was unclear if any of the children were exposed.

Anybody with information about the children who were touching the bat are asked to call the CDPHE at 303-692-2700.